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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 56A: Abuse occurring prior to or in conjunction with charged crime against person or property; investigation prior to release, discharge or admittance to bail; preliminary written statement to be filed and maintained in statewide domestic violence record keeping system

Section 56A. Before a judge of the superior court, district court or Boston municipal court releases, discharges or admits to bail any person arrested and charged with a crime against the person or property of another, the judicial officer shall inquire of the commonwealth as to whether abuse, as defined in section 1 of chapter 209A, is alleged to have occurred immediately prior to or in conjunction with the crime for which the person was arrested and charged. The commonwealth shall file a preliminary written statement if it is alleged that abuse has so occurred. The judicial officer shall make a written ruling that abuse is alleged in connection with the charged offense. Such preliminary written statement shall be maintained within the statewide domestic violence record keeping system. Such preliminary written statement shall not be considered criminal offender record information or public records and shall not be open for public inspection. Such preliminary written statement shall not be admissible in any investigation or proceeding before a grand jury or court of the commonwealth related to the crime for which the person was brought before the court.

If the defendant has been found not guilty by the court or jury, or a no bill has been returned by the grand jury or a finding of no probable cause has been made by the court, the court shall remove the preliminary written statement from the statewide domestic violence record keeping system; provided however, that a dismissal shall not be eligible for removal from the statewide domestic record keeping system.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as modifying or limiting the presumption of innocence.